Style Bee - Winter Closet Notes



It’s officially spring here in Canada, which means it’s time to pack away my deep winter gear and get ready for warmer days ahead (hurray!). This new season snuck in under the radar with all that’s been happening in the world, but realizing it had arrived as promised brought a sense of hope to my heart.

In a way, I think I’ve been facing this whole COVID-19 crisis kind of as I do the winter months, albeit, with a lot more trepidation and uncertainty. When we head into winter we always know that the times ahead are going to get worse before they get better but the only way out is through. Just as spring has arrived, I trust that there is a light at the end of this tunnel too.

While we’re cooped up at home, this may be a good opportunity to do some winter closet analysis while it’s still fresh and set up a game plan for next time. That’s what I did this week and I thought I’d share my findings with you.

In today’s post I’ll be taking a look at:

  • My winter closet takeaways
  • My game plan (ie: wish list) for next year

Come along for a last look at winter style before we dig full on into spring!

This post was not produced in partnership with any brands mentioned but does contain affiliate links. If you see something you like and decide to shop through the links included, I may earn commission on a sale at no additional cost to you. All opinions are always my own. Thanks for supporting Style Bee!

Style Bee - Winter Closet Notes


I’ve loosened my grip on wear counts and more detailed closet analysis this year, choosing instead to keep a journal going in my Notes app. As style revelations and insights come to me throughout the season I jot them down and it’s been really helpful to go back and see what I was thinking at the time.

I’ve been trying to focus less on how much things get worn and more on how my closet supports my life. I haven’t totally figured out what the difference is there but this mindset shift feels more organic and relaxed. Here are some of the key takeaways from those notes!

Style Bee - Winter Closet Notes

Turtlenecks were the heroes of my winter closet. It was the first year I’d invested in a few that I really liked and it made a huge difference.

These are my hands-down favourite base layers and these are also great (lots of colours & a Canadian brand).

Alpaca far outshone cashmere sweaters in my wardrobe this year. I love that this fibre has become a much more common option and that it’s super soft on both the skin and the planet.

My favourite super cozy alpaca knit sweaters are from Bare Knitwear (a Canadian brand & past Style Bee partner). This alpaca knit is still light enough for spring wear and was a go-to all winter. I’m definitely adding another colourway next year.

Black knits just didn’t make it out of the closet very much. Given the frequency with which I cuddle Dobby & Evie (when permission is granted), black knitwear just ends up covered in lint and fur by the end of a day.

Creams, flax and heathered neutrals add a lightness to my closet’s colour palette and offer much more effective camouflage. By the end of the season I was feeling eager to expand on the neutral palette more too!

Style Bee - Winter Closet Notes

My light-weight winter coats got much more use than I thought they would. We were lucky to get quite a few mild days this winter and I took every opportunity to wear my favourite wool coats. I also found that with fitted base layers and light sweaters I could wear them on pretty cold days without an issue.

The lighter coats I’m referring to are my vintage houndstooth, my cashmere camel wrap coat (full review here) and wool Clyde trench (gifted).

Not sure I can ever go back from a long puffer coat (gifted) now that I’ve tried one. Being wrapped up in a duvet is kind of exactly how I’ve always wished I could face the coldest days. The only downside is that a giant puffer feels a bit frumpy at times (for going out or dressier occasions) and not quite in line with the usual refinement I strive for in my style.

Overall I was really happy with how my winter boot collection performed this year. I’ve been slowly investing in my winter footwear over that last few years and the results are proving out! Good quality boots are something I strongly recommend investing in if you live where it’s cold. You can see all my top brand suggestions in this post and lots of them are on sale right now.

Good traction is essential. It’s rare to find the sidewalks in our area clear so boots with good tread and traction are important. I found my Rima boots to be the best in slippery conditions but my Rachel boots and Blundstones were warmer. I do have a pair of Sorel Caribou boots for extreme days but they’re super heavy and cumbersome.

I’m considering a pair of these for next year and plan to get grip strips added to some of the smooth leather soled boots I have. A cobbler can actually carve out some of the sole and embed a textured rubber that’s permanent.

Cozy slippers are worth their weight in GOLD.

I wore my Kyrgies (gifted years ago) every single day this winter and I’ll still be wearing them into the spring.

This was the 3rd winter for my Aquatalia Carie boots (discontinued style) and they were wonderful yet again! Nordstrom Rack often has past styles deeply discounted.

The suede is showing a bit of wear in some spots on the toe box but I bought this little brush to keep them fluffed up and clean. It’s been great!

Style Bee - Winter Closet Notes


This is a running list of potentially useful items I’ve noted throughout the season. It’s great to make a wish list during or at the end of a season while the pieces you feel are missing remain fresh in your mind. This always helps me avoid impulse purchases when the season rolls back around and I’ve forgotten what my closet actually needs.

EAR MUFFS – Cold ears are not an option for me so I’d love a pair of ear muffs so I don’t necessarily have to wear a beanie every time I go out (ie: when I’ve just done my hair!). These ave been on my list for years but I’ve yet to find the perfect pair.

LINER FOR LIGHTER COATS – I’ve seen quilted liners popping up a lot more in recent years and love the idea of wearing a light-weight liner under my wool coats (noted above) to make them more hearty. I’ve got this one and this one bookmarked.

LIGHT COLOUR WINTER BOOT – I love how a light shoe can really make an outfit feel fresh and special but I haven’t found anything that’s both weather-ready and elegant in a light colour. The hunt begins!

BLACK SKINNY JEANS – I parted ways with the black skinnies in my closet this winter. They just didn’t make me feel good and I’m done holding on to pants that make me think bad thoughts about my body. I really noticed their absence though so I’m going to try these since I love the other wash I have already.

TEDDY-STYLE COAT – I’d love something in between my long puffer and my camel coat that’s cozy and warm but a little more refined and tailored than a puffer. This one is on my radar for sure.

WARM DRESSY SWEATER – I found my knitwear collection was missing an option that I could wear to meetings, dinners and dressier occasions that was still warm and cute with jeans or a trouser. I recently got the Gaspard Cardigan (gifted) and dare I say, J’ADORE! More on that one soon.

INDOOR SLIPPERS THAT ARE COZY & CHIC – My feet get too cold to go without slippers but I’d love to find something that is cute enough to feel put-together but still toasty on the tootsies! I think these little fellas may be the just the ticket! (Save 20% with this link)

CHUNKY MID-LENGTH CARDIGAN – I lived in my long camel and charcoal cardigans yet again this winter. I think another option, perhaps in a shorter length would be great. This one has been a reader favourite and this one has been on my mind ever since I collaborated with the brand last fall.

Style Bee - Winter Closet Notes

There you have me winter closet takeaways and some plans for next year! Have you made any notes or plans for your closet? Do tell.

Thanks for reading!




Take care and stay strong folks! I’ll catch you very soon with some springy goodness!

Leave me a comment here!

  1. Danielle says:

    Late to the party here, but winter is coming soon so it was nice to read your thoughts on cold-weather dressing. For earmuffs, I cannot recommend Sprigs Earbags enough. I bought mine at MEC a couple years ago.

  2. Coming into winter it is great to review your wardrobe thoughts from the last winter season. Nice to be make use of your previous posts!

  3. Alessandra says:

    Lee I love your closet so much! And the fact that you are from Guelph. Keep rocking it! Would love to hear more about Canadian brands and how we can support them during this really hard time 🙁

  4. Marlee says:

    I love these close note posts! On my wishlist for next winter I have a second grey layering tank (I wore the one I have multiple times a week under my sweaters), a chunky grey cropped cardigan to wear with dresses (I’m thinking a bespoke L’envers cardigan), and a pair of flat black ankle boots.

  5. Stacey says:

    How do you keep your indoor slippers clean? I found mine are getting dingy both inside and out.

    • Lee the Bee says:

      That’s a good question! haha I haven’t washed these but I’m pretty careful to never get them wet or wear them outdoors at all. The grey wool hides marks really well too. Maybe you can giving your slippers a wash or soak and let them air dry?

  6. Katy says:

    What a great post, Lee. And just what I need right now. I must move out of this rented house soon, and this post gives me the inspiration and hopefully the impetus to look at every winter garment for its usefulness before I pack it up for the season, and also make a list NOW for what I’ll need next fall.

    • Lee the Bee says:

      Thanks so much Katy! Moving is always a great time to really edit. Good luck with the move and closet planning, you’ll be glad you did it in the Fall!

  7. Deb Jedynak says:

    Love the simplicity of looks but I’ve got short legs. I’m only 5 ft. So those wide legs don’t work for me.

    • Lee the Bee says:

      Hi Deb, I think folks who are your height can totally rock wide leg pants. A floaty fabric like Tencel or silk can really help to make them not feel too voluminous. Of course, it’s all about what you feel good wearing!

    • Alessandra says:

      Sounds like you need to check out @jesswithless she’s only 5 ft and always rocks wide legs. I think her secret is being besties with a good tailor.

    • Lee the Bee says:

      Great suggestion Alessandra!

  8. Lucretia Roletta says:

    I enjoy your posts and reading about the companies you support. I share your garment choices, quality over quantity.
    I live in Southern California so we don’t have the extreme cold you Canadians have although this was a particularly cold winter.
    Your comments about alpaca are interesting as this material and many wools are not tolerated on many people’s skins. As soon as I put on an alpaca item, even 10%, My skin reacts. I immediately have to remove it. This year there were so many soft and comfy sweaters on the market that I had to avoid.

  9. Barbara Tollen says:

    Thank you for the great ideas – very helpful! I am going to go on a shopping fast for the spring/summer, and intend to put a major effort into revamping my fall wardrobe. Your blog helps get the creative juices flowing. You are a star.

  10. Anna tork says:

    Hey, do you have recommendations for black skinnies with a softer stretch fabric?

    These everlane ones get so much lint bc of the fabric.